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Lord, David Samuel Anthony

Date of birth:
October 18th, 1913 (Cork, Ireland)
Date of death:
September 19th, 1944 (Oosterbeek, the Netherlands)
Buried on:
Commonwealth War Cemetery Arnhem Oosterbeek
Nationality:
Irish (1919-present, Republic)

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 31 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
July 16th, 1943
Citation:
"During the past two months he has been dropping food supplies to British troops deep inside Burma. His sorties often take him deep into Japanese occupied territory without fighter escort. "
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flight Lieutenant
Awarded on:
September 1st, 1944
King's/Queen's Commendation for valuable service in the air
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
No. 271 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
September 18th, 1945
Awarded for:
Operation Market Garden
Citation:
"Flight Lieutenant Lord was pilot and captain of a Dakota aircraft detailed to drop supplies at Arnhem on the afternoon of the 19th September, 1944. Our airborne troops had been surrounded and were being pressed into a small area defended by a large number of anti-aircraft guns. Air crews were warned that intense opposition would be met over the dropping zone. To ensure accuracy they were ordered to fly at 900 feet when dropping their containers. While flying at 1,500 feet near Arnhem the starboard wing of Flight Lieutenant Lord’s aircraft was twice hit by anti-aircraft fire. The starboard engine was set on fire. He would have been justified in leaving the main stream of supply aircraft and continuing at the same height or even abandoning his aircraft. But on learning that his crew were uninjured and that the dropping zone would be reached in three minutes he said he would complete his mission, as the troops were in dire need of supplies.
By now the starboard engine was burning furiously. Flight Lieutenant Lord came down to 900 feet, where he was singled out for the concentrated fire of all the anti-aircraft guns. On reaching the dropping zone he kept the aircraft on a straight and level course while supplies were dropped. At the end of the run, he was told that two containers remained. Although he must have known that the collapse of the starboard wing could not be long delayed, Flight Lieutenant Lord circled, rejoined the stream of aircraft and made a second run to drop the remaining supplies.
These manoeuvres took eight minutes in all, the aircraft being continuously under heavy anti-aircraft fire. His task completed, Flight Lieutenant Lord ordered his crew to abandon the Dakota, making no attempt himself to leave the aircraft, which was down to 500 feet. A few seconds later, the starboard wing collapsed and the aircraft fell into flames. There was only one survivor, who was flung out while assisting other members of the crew to put on their parachutes.
By continuing his mission in a damaged and burning aircraft, descending to drop the supplies accurately, returning to the dropping zone a second time and, finally, remaining at controls to give his crew a chance of escape, Flight Lieutenant Lord displayed supreme valour and self-sacrifice."
David Lord is buried at the War Cemetery in Oosterbeek, the Netherlands.
Victoria Cross (VC)

Sources

  • Photo 1: Wilco Vermeer & Jeroen Koppes (graf)
  • Photo: Wilco Vermeer en Jeroen Koppes(grave), the Netherlands
  • - Victoria Cross Reference
    - The Register of the Victoria Cross - published by This Engeland 1997 - ISBN 0906324270
    - Truesdale, D., Brotherhood of the Cauldron – Irishmen in the 1st Airborne Division from North Africa to Arnhem, Redcoat Publishing, Newtownard, Great Britain, 2002
    - Special thanks to Iain Stewart from The History of the Victoria Cross
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36094 published on the 13 July 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36682 published on the 29 August 1944
    - Spink
    - Wrexham Leader, July 23th, 1943

Photo

News

Apr2018

Photoreport start of the exhibition 'For Valour'

On Thursday 5 April 2018 was the official start of the exhibition 'For Valour' in the Airborne Museum in Oosterbeek. In this exhibition the five Arnhem Victoria Crosses are on display for the first time

Read more